My youngest daughter is an interesting kid and quite a proficient artist. When she asked for a “new” (to her) desk for her room, I knew it wasn’t going to be a “run of the mill” furniture refresh. She threw me for a loop when she only wanted it painted white. Then, true to form, turned down every drawer handle option we could find. We wanted unique drawer pulls that would speak to her talents. I think we found them.
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My son had this desk in his old room.
Since we did his room refresh the tiny bedroom he used to have has become a storage lot for everything the kids don’t want. (on a side note, anyone want to come “shopping”? I’m ready to light a match and burn this place to the ground some days). Gracie liked this desk because it was larger though she didn’t want the hutch since she said it felt too bulky.
We removed the hutch and drug the desk out to the front yard. Then I handed her my Ryobi cordless orbital sander and she went to town.
We removed the hardware from the drawers and filled in the holes from the knobs. The drawers interiors were then painted a cheery yellow (her current favorite color).
The desk got a coat of primer then 2 or 3 coats of paint. I like to paint perpendicular to the last coat when spray painting large surfaces because I feel like it gives better coverage.
Once everything was dry, we were ready for the handles. We had a few hurdles to overcome:
* We decided to use colored pencils to celebrate her art. They needed to be larger if we were going to screw into the back of them.
*The pencils would need to stick out from the drawer fronts so a hand can fit between them to open the drawer.
A web search finally found thicker colored pencils and BONUS! Being triangular shaped, these have flat-ish sides. Mechanical pencils were the easiest solution to the spacing problem. Cabinet screws were my choice for their larger head.
Gracie disassembled the pencils.
I wrapped painting tape around the casing, then marked about how long they needed to be.
Sandpaper (400 grit) made the cut edges smooth and ready for installation.
We wanted an option for different pulls later if (when) she changes her mind. The pencils are 7″ long. Attaching them 2″ in from each side leaves a 3″ on-center pull and gives plenty of support. Painting tape leftovers on the front gave me a space to mark the location.
Making sure the holes were exactly where they need to be was easy with Rockler’s drawer pull jig. I drilled the holes, and then had the screws peek out front just a bit. Then lining the pencil up and pressing it into the screws gave me a guide for attachment.
Running the screws the rest of the way in, pulling the spacers over them and then holding the pencils in place during the last few turns, gave us a unique drawer pull to suit the personality of Miss Fancy Pants.
Once we reattached the slides, we put the desk back together and moved it into place.
I hope this project inspires you to try to make your own unique drawer pulls. Have any ideas about what you could use? I’d love to hear!